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Book and Movie Review: Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

So a few weeks ago I dragged my friend along to see the highly anticipated movie adaption of Stephen Chbosky’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower. After reading and loving the book, I have being waiting for the movie for months, I’ve watched each trailer hundreds of times and obsessed over the casting and I was so excited to see it. Naturally, afterwards I thought I’d do a book and movie review! So here goes:

Book (Summary from Goodreads): 

‘Standing on the fringes of life… offers a unique perspective. But there comes a time to see what it looks like from the dance floor.

This haunting novel about the dilemma of passivity vs. passion marks the stunning debut of a provocative new voice in contemporary fiction: The Perks of Being a Wallflower.

This is the story of what it’s like to grow up in high school. More intimate than a diary, Charlie’s letters are singular and unique, hilarious and devastating. We may not know where he lives. We may not know to whom he is writing. All we know is the world he shares. Caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it puts him on a strange course through uncharted territory. The world of first dates and mixed tapes, family dramas and new friends. The world of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, when all one requires is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite.’

Through Charlie, Stephen Chbosky has created a deeply affecting coming-of-age story, a powerful novel that will spirit you back to those wild and poignant roller coaster days known as growing up

Now, I have a confession to make. Although I’d seen Perks on loads of must read lists raving about how wonderful and amazing it was, I wasn’t obsessed with getting it. That’s because it’s not in my usual genre. I am such a comfort reader. I love specific genres and the genres that I am not sure about don’t often get a look in. Perks is definitely in a genre that I don’t normally read, so when I finally picked it up I wasn’t really expecting to enjoy it a tonne.

I was wrong. For some reason I completely fell in love with Charlie and his story. I love that feeling when you don’t think you’ll enjoy a book and it just blows you away. Charlie was such a relatable character, I think everyone feels so nervous starting someplace new and especially if you’re naive or really shy like Charlie. I really liked the mystery of Charlies life before the book as well – the reader isn’t entirely sure what happened to Charlie before the book. I loved the form of his letters too, it was just such a original way to write a story.

But although Charlie was the narrator and main character, we got a insight into the supporting characters lifes as well. This didn’t feel superficial, Sam, Patrick, and Candace were all brought to life beautifully. I especially loved Sam, and her struggle with love and getting into College.  Although the book is set in the 90’s I felt that the issues the characters go through are still applicable today, and some sensitive issues were tackled in a head on and though provoking way.

I utterly loved The Perks of Being a Wallflower. I think it taught me not to judge a book by its genre, and to try more books out! So when I heard that they were making a movie, I was beside myself with excitement.

 

Movie:

The movie, being directed by Stephen Chbosky stayed pretty true to the book, which was great! Logan Lerman was, for me, the break out performance of the movie. He conveyed Charlie’s issues and feelings subtly when a lesser actor would have being over the top. I spent the entire movie wanting to give him a big hug. Emma Watson was also great. Sam is completely different from Hermione in every single way. I did think her accent slipped a few times, but mostly it was spot on. Erza Miller was great as Patrick, sometimes funny sometime breathtakingly sad. I loved the movie, it was exactly how I imagined the book, and the cast were great.

I kind of want to know where Charlie is now though. Sequel please? 😉

A great coming of age story, with a tonne of teenage angst. A must read for anyone that likes good books and a must see for anyone who likes good movies!!!

Laura 🙂

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